2020-2021 Academic Catalog

All Catalogs > 2020-2021 > Academic Policies

Academic Policies

Current and detailed information concerning academic policies is provided by the Student Handbook. Further information is provided by special handbooks prepared for students in the School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy, the Center for Advanced Theological Studies, the Center for Missiological Research, the Doctor of Ministry programs, and other programs.

Changes are effected from time to time in the general regulations and academic policies. There are established procedures for making changes and for making such changes known to the students of the seminary. A curriculum or graduation requirement, when altered, is not made retroactive unless the alteration is to the student’s advantage and can be accommodated within the span of years normally required for graduation.

Each student is responsible for knowing and understanding current academic policies. Ignorance of a policy which appears in a student handbook or in the catalog is not a valid reason for granting an exception to any policy.

Residence Requirements and Transfer Credit

Residence requirements vary by degree program and are described in the appropriate sections of this catalog and in the student handbooks of the three schools. Subject to these limitations, Fuller normally accepts appropriate transfer credit from graduate institutions accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, or regional or recognized international accrediting associations. The Academic Advising office is responsible for all transfer credit for School of Theology and School of Intercultural Studies master’s-level students. Students in the School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy should consult their academic advisor concerning transfer credit.

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and active participation are critical to the effectiveness of every course as a communal, cumulative, and sequenced learning activity. For the purposes of this policy, attendance will be measured according to:

  • Presence and active participation in at least 80% of the duration of each on-campus face-to-face meeting or required synchronous online session; and
  • Active and substantive participation (as stipulated by the professor in terms of: minimum word count, number of interactions, completed tasks, etc.) in all required online interactive weekly activities (discussion forums, shared assignments, quizzes, exams, surveys, etc.) within the assigned week.

In the event of absence for any reason, the student is responsible for any class content missed. Students should communicate in advance with their professor if they anticipate needing to miss any part of a class or class assignment.

Students considered absent for more than 20% of class sessions (residential or hybrid) or two weeks of interactive weekly activities (online) will have their final course grade reduced by one letter grade and the student will be ineligible to receive an incomplete for the course regardless of extenuating circumstances. More than 30% (residential or hybrid) or three weeks (online) of absences will result in a failing course grade. Professors may, for pedagogical reasons, impose a higher participation/attendance requirement. The professor may assign alternative work to make up for no more than 10% of class sessions or one week of online participation. This may include additional reading, watching online videos and writing a response, or meeting one-on-one with the professor or a TA.

Students experiencing hardships that make attendance challenging should immediately contact their academic advisor to determine appropriate steps. Professors are not able to affirm incomplete requests that do not conform to this policy.

If a qualified student with a disability believes it may not be possible to abide by the attendance policy due to disability-related reasons, the student should contact Access Services Office prior to the beginning of the term, or as soon as possible after the need for an exception arises. Modifications to this policy can be granted only through the Access Services Office, and will be determined on an individual, case-by-case basis depending upon the extent to which the supporting medical or psychological documentation from a licensed professional qualified to diagnose and treat the disability, supports the need for modification to this attendance policy.

Absences and Withdrawal

Whenever possible, students are expected to notify their academic advisor if they plan to discontinue enrollment for an extended period. If a student does not register for a period of four consecutive quarters, it will be necessary to apply for reinstatement. In such cases, students must meet the degree requirements in effect at the time they resume coursework.

Students who expect to discontinue their studies at Fuller are expected to notify their academic advisor.

Formal Statements of Community Standards

Fuller Theological Seminary expects all members of its community to live in accord with standards of wholesome Christian character. In order to clarify their understanding of Christian standards in areas of special concern, the Fuller Seminary faculty and Board of Trustees has adopted and may adopt additional formal statements of community standards. These statements and other seminary policy statements may be found in the Introduction section of this catalog. Registration for any course (for credit or audit) represents a student’s agreement to comply with these statements and policies.

All Catalogs > 2020-2021 > Academic Policies